Effective management of radioiodine (RAI)-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer is a challenge due to limited treatment options. Multikinase inhibitor therapy including sorafenib has been an optional treatment in recent years. This study aims to compare the clinical benefit rate, progression free survival, and quality of life between patients who received limited dose of sorafenib (200-400 mg per day) as opposed to the control group.
Twenty-two patients who received sorafenib and twenty-three cases in the control group were studied for two years. Baseline variables were comparable between two subgroups. The results of diagnostic imaging methods were also taken into consideration. Quality of life was measured using the EORTC (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer) quality of life questionnaire.
Based on the RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) criteria, clinical benefit rate was 77.3% and 47.8% in sorafenib and control subgroups respectively (p value=0.042). The median of progression free survival for the sorafenib subgroup was 24 months and in the control subgroup was 22 months (p value=0.020). In a comparison between two groups regarding their quality of life, all subscales were statistically insignificant between the two groups except for the symptom subscale (p value=0.001).
Low-dose sorafenib maintenance therapy is an effective treatment option in RAI- refractory differentiated thyroid cancer with the main effect of stabilizing the disease. Except for unpleasant but tolerable adverse effects, this treatment has no significant negative influence on the quality of life as far as the physical, role, cognitive, emotional, financial and social functions are concerned.
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